You might notice if you’re looking for a new furnace or getting yours tuned-up is hearing about an AFUE rating and how important it is. Most homeowners don’t really know what an AFUE rating is and can be confused on what it has to do with your furnace. Especially here in Southern California, we use our furnaces less often than other colder states that use it more. Since the winter season is just around the corner, it’s important to know what an AFUE rating is and how it’s important for your furnace.

What is an AFUE Rating?

The U.S. The Department of Energy created in the 1970’s the AFUE rating to help people compare their furnace’s efficiency. An AFUE rating stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, where it measures its annual heat output compared to its total annual energy consumed. The rating goes by percentage and the higher the percentage, the more efficient the furnace will be. For example, an AFUE rating of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel will become heat for the home. The other 10% will escape through the chimney or somewhere else. You’re able to find the rating from either the user manual or a sticker located on the furnace cabinet. If you’re not able to find it you can contact an HVAC technician who can assist you.

The ratings are from low, medium and high and each have their own percentages. A low-efficiency rating comes from older systems and it’s around 56 – 70 percent. Medium-efficiency you’ll find in both older and newer systems at 80 – 85 percent. While high-efficient ratings from newer systems are at 90 – 98.5 percent. The minimum standard now for new furnaces you’ll find is at 80 percent which will still give you an average efficiency.

How to Save Money?

Homeowners who are looking for a new furnace for their home might want to purchase the lowest cost furnace to save money, but the return on investment can be an issue. Having a higher rating AFUE furnace will save you money in the long run because of how efficient it’s working without raising up the utility bills. Yes, the higher-efficiency the furnace is, the more it’ll cost you than one that’s lower. You’ll need to consider the cost of the furnace and how much you’ll save in the long run when you’re trying to make a decision.

For homeowners that do have a furnace and want to still have a good efficiency it’s important to have annual tune-ups done. Over time the AFUE rating of your furnace will decline, especially when it’s not maintained well. Having yearly tune-ups with a licensed HVAC technician can fix any issues they find and keep the AFUE rating from dipping low. With less breakdowns, your furnace will be working efficiently and saving you money for many years.

Understanding AFUE ratings with your furnace and finding a new one can be confusing and difficult. Our team at Omni Air HVAC understands how to keep your family comfortable while helping save you money in the long run. For all your furnace and AFUE questions and concerns, our professional technicians can help you answer any problems you have. Call us today for all your furnace needs!

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